COVID 19 has resulted in an increase in domestic violence and has also had a significant impact on homeless people.
Members and friends of SI Widnes are continuing to support both Changing Lives, our local women’s refuge and NightStop, a charity which supports homeless people aged 16-35, by making regular donations of goods such as: nappies, wipes, children’s toys, toiletries and cleaning products for Changing Lives and toiletries, toilet rolls, cleaning products and kitchen utensils for NightStop, to help equip two houses they have recently acquired to house homeless COVID 19 victims.
In addition to the donated goods, many members have donated the cost of our monthly meals to enable the purchasing of some of the above items.
A huge ‘thank you’ from staff at Changing Lives and NightStop to everyone who has donated in one form or another and a big ‘thank you’ to the two members who are purchasing, co-ordinating and delivering the items to NightStop and Changing Lives.
This year we decided to make up 75 buckets containing cleaning products to commemorate the 75th anniversary of SI Widnes’ service to our local community.
We received donations from Morrison’s Supermarket, Widnes and the Blackhorse Community Convenience store, Widnes as well as five other Soroptimist Clubs: SI Liverpool, Warrington, Ashton-under-Lyne, Southport and Bootle.
75 orange buckets were purchased to reflect the ‘#orangetheworld’ campaign against violence towards women as well as a range of cleaning products. Members then met at President Eleanor’s house to fill the buckets with the cleaning products and to affix labels bearing the Club’s details.
Once the buckets were ready, 25 buckets were delivered to Changing Lives, the women’s refuge, 25 were delivered to Brennan Lodge, a local homeless shelter, and 5 buckets were donated to each of the five Soroptimist Clubs who supported the project.
We have supported Changing Lives, formerly known as The Women’s Refuge’ for many years in many different ways helping the organisation to support women fleeing domestic violence.
These women often arrive at a refuge with nothing, as they have most likely left in a hurry, possibly in secret, bringing little or no belongings with them.
Over the years, we have provided gifts of a mug with tea, coffee, hot chocolate and biscuits for the women. Not only does it enable them to do something as simple as make a cuppa but it gives them something that they can call their own.
In the past members have donated toiletries and small items of make up and perfume in ‘pamper packs.
At Christmas time, we have donated gifts suitable for the children to wrap as presents for their mums, toys for the children, cards and wrapping paper.
This year the refuge requested cleaning items to enable the women to maintain the cleanliness of their own living quarters so two members each month, were asked to buy a plastic bucket and fill it with cleaning products, which were then taken to Changing Lives. The buckets and cleaning products are also useful for the women when they move on to other accommodation in their ‘outreach’ programme. Items of furniture, bedding, kitchen ware etc. have also been donated, from time to time, for the outreach programme.